By Amanda DeGrace, owner of Little Lotus Yoga How many times a day do we as adults pause and concentrate on a slow and relaxed breath? If you are like me or many of my clients we don’t do it often enough. We spend our days moving from one appointment to the next, groceries, laundry, cook, clean up, bathtime for the kids, bedtime routine, repeat.
The next time you find yourself running from one task to another take a moment to pause and just notice your breath. Is it shallow or deep and full? Our children feel our energy and can feed off that. When we are feeling stressed then our children can become stressed. When we feel calm, cool and collected then our children do as well.
Many times I hear from our awesome mamas and papas that their children have a challenging time settling into bed at night. They toss and turn, can’t get comfortable and end up wide awake for hours.
Here are some tips and tricks that may help your children in settling in for a quiet and peaceful evening.
In a soft voice guide your child through the following meditations:
This guided meditation is appropriate for school age children and pre-teens.
Sit or lie down comfortably and try to close your eyes. Make any little movements that your body would like to make to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Try to close your mouth and breathe in and out of your nose. Notice what it feels like when you breathe in and out of your nose. I am going to ask you some questions and just think about them in your mind for a moment without speaking out loud.
(parents- pause for a few moments in between each question)
Do you feel your breath as it enters and leaves your nose?
Do you feel your belly and chest expanding as you breath in and getting smaller as your breath leaves your body?
What does it feel like when you slow your breathe down and take a deep slow breath and then let it go slowly as well?
Try to follow your breath with your mind as it enters through your nose, travels deep down into your belly. Feel your belly grow and expand and then fill your ribs and your chest. Follow your breath with your mind as it all leaves back through your nose. Let the air in your chest leave first. Then your ribs.Then your belly.
Continue to follow the wave of your breath as it slowly enters and then leaves your body.
This guided meditation is appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers.
Lie down on your back and close your eyes. Place your hands lightly on your belly. Try to lie very still and quietly. Close your mouth and breath in and out of your nose.
Feel your belly move up and down as you breath. Your belly is just like a balloon. Fill your belly up with air and it expands like when you blow up a balloon. When you breathe out feel your belly get small again just like a balloon does when you let the air out of it.
Imagine your belly is a balloon and blow your belly balloon up really really big and then let it get very very small again. Try to blow your balloon up slowly and softly.
Some children may be resistance to lie or sit to listen to a guided meditation at first. Try not to push them into it. Allow for self-discovery and join in with them. Lie down with your child, hold their hand or rub their belly or back, and softly allow your mind and body experience the guided meditation as well.
From my family to yours I am sending lots of sleepy vibes!